Getting references/reviews/study cases/ambassadors
You know that references and reviews are essential for your business but you have no idea where to start with. Here are a couple of pieces of advice.
Do not stab your clients in the back, let's say that you sold your products/services for a big company, please, ask their consent to insert their logo or to say that you worked for them. There are several risks for not getting their consent here. The first that we can see is that you are disclosing information without knowing what could be the consequences for this company, the second is that you can make their marketing team angry and as a result high chances that they won't buy from you the next time.
So ask gently to the different entities if they agree that they logo appear on your website, if your service is good high chances that they will accept and it will be the opportunity for you to ask them more such as a review.
Ok, you are reluctant and scared about getting reviews from your existing customers. You are scared that they won't accept unless you offer them something in exchange. Guess what... you don't know until you ask them. So feel free to ask them directly and you won't be surprise by the results.
Keep in mind that it is only human talking to humans that's it.
The best moment to ask for a review is when the service has been delivered and they are very happy with it. If you are doing a wonderful probably the proposal will come from them directly. It is always good to have already some guidelines in order for your client to know how this review will be used (just the first name, first letter of the family name and the company, just a quote...).
Making study cases
Study cases is about pushing even more the review by telling a success story to your audience. Compared to a reference or a review it is going to ask you a lot of work and it will probably involve people which are beyond the initial process. In fact the review tend to be asked by the person who delivered the good product/service whereas in the situation of a study case, it is more the communication/marketing team who will be in charge here. It is where things can be tense because you never know if this relationship will be good or not. So always better to have marketing teams discussing about it together which probably mean a lot of time before starting to see the first lines of the study case.
Ambassadors are people who talk positively about your brand/product/service. It is hard to get as getting fans is always a challenge when you are a young company. It is as well not that obvious to identify what they can bring you as most of your leads
won't tell you that they came thanks to the influence of a peer. All I can say here is that if you have ambassadors, you need to engage the discussion with them and make them exclusive. It is not a one way thing, if they bring something to you, you
have to bring them something back in order to keep them motivated. Invite them to special events, send them goodies, give them exclusive information, offer them discounts. They are making you special, so you have to make them special too. That's part
of the game.